Rehabilitation Strategies for Patients with Breathing & Swallowing Dysfunction

ASHA 2023 is November 15-18 in Boston, MA
(American Speech-Language-Hearing Association)

Many diseases and conditions can lead to breathing and swallowing dysfunction. Swallowing and breathing work closely together and are synchronized. Their coordination is essential for proper nutrition and hydration while preventing aspiration.

Rehab that properly addresses these patient-specific impairments can positively impact one’s ability to eat and drink safely, resulting in improved quality of life.


  • Patients with oropharyngeal head and neck cancer and altered respiratory-swallow coordination utilized a visual biofeedback system that focuses on respiratory-swallow treatment. Based on pre/post-intervention video fluoroscopic swallow studies (VFSS), all patients were able to successfully perform the optimal respiratory-swallow pattern resulting in significant improvements in laryngeal vestibule closure, tongue base retraction, pharyngeal residue, and Penetration-Aspiration Scale (PAS) scores. (Martin-Haris et al., 2017)
  • Following four sessions of respiratory-swallow coordination training (RSCT) in an individual with Parkinson’s disease and severe dysphagia, significant improvements in respiratory-swallow coordination and swallowing safety and efficiency were achieved (measured by plethysmography, nasal thermistor, submental sEMG). (Curtis et al., 2020)

ACP’s OmniFlow® Breathing Therapy and Synchrony OmnisEMG™ can be beneficial tools in retraining the respiratory-swallow pattern for individuals with breathing and swallowing dysfunction.


OmniFlow provides interactive breathing exercises using an airflow sensor with virtual reality activity. It incorporates visual and auditory biofeedback to assist the therapist in training patients to perform the desired breathing response in order to address underlying impairments.

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of ACP OmniFlow users would choose it over traditional breathing exercises.

Synchrony OmnisEMG™

Synchrony Dysphagia Solutions by ACP® with OmnisEMG provides interactive swallowing exercise using surface electromyography (sEMG) with biofeedback. The technology enables therapists and patients to visualize swallowing muscle activity as it occurs to facilitate behavioral change.


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of Synchrony users state that it helps them treat more patients effectively.

For more information and a demonstration of OmniFlow
and Synchrony OmnisEMG


And SIG 15 on Thurs., 11/16 at 6:30 pm
@ Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport

Andreé Akst, PT, MPT, CEEAA, NASM-CES, Clinical Services Content Specialist

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